Hello! In publishing this list, I am hoping to make available current information as to just where these fine old airplanes are reposing (or FLYING!) now. The published list was correct as of the last update; however, I realize that things are constantly changing. I am counting on you readers to E-mail me regarding needed corrections or updates.
It flies!N8419- RAAF-N414H-
This great picture, received on 9/8/05, is by Robert Burns, a frequent contributor to AvWeb's Picture of the Week. He took this shot at Oshkosh 2005. You might want to know he was in just the right place at the right time and was on the ground. They are not as close as they look in their follow-the-leader procession as Bob shot with a 600mm lens on a digital camera. Bob has granted permission to use a couple of other pictures which will appear below with the identified airplane. This shot was cropped a bit by me to delete some blue sky.
Most of the pictures below you will have to click for but this one was too good to miss so it will appear this way for a while. From front to rear the airplanes are Ford N414H, Bushmaster N7501V, and Ford N8407.
In 1991 I flew as co-pilot on Tri-Motor N7584 from Sandusky, Ohio to Santa Monica with Capt. Al Chaney who was (and will possibly remain) the last of the true barnstormers. My criteria for this statement are:
I have just published (October 2009) a new book entitled "Chasing the Goose" detailing some of the adventures of this barnstorming trip. To see the book, read an excerpt, and place orders go here.. Two others of my books (Nutt Avenue, The Right Way Two) may be seen if you go to the upper right of that page and type the book names into the search block provided.
National Air Tour, 2003. The Tour has been successfully completed with only a few minor deviations caused by Hurricane Isabel. It was a real thrill to watch all these "Golden Oldies" pull into Richmond and line up on the ramp for refueling. I was priviledged to meet Greg Herrick and to talk with a number of the pilots. It was a further thrill to park at the departure end of the runway and to watch three Tri-Motors take off in sequence - a Ford, a Stinson, and a Bushmaster. Hearing all those old round engines was great!
A listing of all planes and pilots may be found by clicking here.
Greg has recently posted a web site which details progress of restoration of 4AT-10 as well as the historical record of this airplane which is fast approaching flying status. Well, not SO fast, really, as he also sent a picture of the airplane on its wheels being towed backwards down the road by a John Deere. And just today, July 5, 2004, Greg forwarded photos of the A/C, engines running and wings on. Also a photo of the panel emphasizing the beautiful control wheels. These latest photos courtesy of Tod Anderson. Could 1077 fly into Oshkosh in a month?
Learned (6/20/05)that the airplane is temporarily at AZO (Kalamazoo) having a few mods made in time to go to Oshkosh. These include: bathroom (complete with running water and hole in bottom) plus a center engine exhaust mod. There will be 3 or 4 Fords at Oshkosh plus 5 or 6 other Tri-Motors. Great photo op.
I learned from Greg (19 May 2008) that the airplane was in Hamilton, Ont., enroute to a filming sequence for the new movie "Amelia" featuring Hillary Swank as Amelia. Richard Gere is her co-star. Filming will take place near Dunnville.
This photo shows the A/C just after the hurricane..
This interesting bit of history came to me recently from Terry Shields who flew for Island Airways in 1974-76. Stories like his are legion and would make a grand historical book to complement Bill's Ford Tri-Motor book. How about it Bill?
"In the summer of 1976 the Ford lost power on two engines just after takeoff from Put-In-Bay. They circled around and tried to get it back on the runway but hit some trees and crashed in the airport tie down area. The center fuel tank broke loose after takeoff due to turbulence and bent fuel lines to two of the engines. The pilot (Dave Martin) was injured and spent several months in the hospital. There were two passengers, one suffered minor injuries and was released the same day.
The aircraft looked a total. One wing was busted off and the cabin was beat up pretty bad. The aircraft was taken to Kalamazoo and restored. It was there for a couple of years. I went to work for Connie Kalitta out of Detroit a couple weeks after the crash. Didn't really keep track of the Ford after that."
Word from Alex Hamelink in an email dated 11 Sept. 2009 is that the A/C is progressing but has a long way to go. They hope to fly it the middle of 2010. A lot depends on a final configuration as set by Kermit Weeks. The A/C is a bare airframe for which corrugated metal is still being made.
It was learned from Greg on July 10, 2008 that some thought is being given to using this airplane (S/N 42) to recreate some of Harold Johnson's old routines. Wow, are low-level loops, spins, and rolls coming in our future? Grandson Dwight Johnson seems to approve of the idea.
Also thanks to Alex Hamelink (see above) this A/C is nearing completion. Here are his words: "N7684 was much more complete, is was just painted in the traditional Ford blue with large 'Ford' titles. It has a strengthened wing-structure because they intend to loop it 17 consecutive times next year at Oshkosh (an attempt to equal the record for looping a Ford set in the 1930's, see http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/4515/fordking.html)"
Good Ford info and pics on the website he mentions. Harold Johnson's spin from 400 feet !!! is truly amazing.
In a press release dated Oct. 21, 2010, it was reported that the airplane had been completed (by Hov-Air and MW Aviation of Vicksburg) and had flown successfully on Oct. 13. Greg has received the o.k. to re-license the airplane as NC9610, the number it had when flown by Harold Johnson. NC9610 has been re-engined with 450hp P&Ws which should provide plenty of zip for the much-anticipated airshow performances. So for you who track such things get out your erasers and pencils and magically transform N7684 into its new number, NC9610.
As of July 28, 2005, it was reported from several sources that 9612 has the wings installed and has run all three engines. One source indicates it is now for sale; however, it is uncertain if it is intended to be flown or will go directly to a museum. Stay tuned!
Sunday, Nov. 13, 2005. IT FLIES AGAIN!! After 4 1/2 years of arduous restoration work 9612 took to the air for a successful 20-minute test flight from Goldsboro-Wayne airport. It has since been flown to Richmond, Virginia, where it will be displayed for about two months in cooperation with the Virginia Aviation Museum where the fuselage hung from the ceiling until the move to Goldsboro. Rumor has it that the plane may be for sale.
Mike Oniffrey has provided us with some excellent photos of the plane in flight and on the ground. These may be viewed by clicking on each of these in sequence: 1. Overhead. 2. Side View. 3. Three-quarter. 4. Fueling. 5. #1 Engine. 6. Defueling station. (No, that's not kitty litter - it's ballast).
N9612 was in the Virginia Aviation Museum on Dec. 10, 2005. The writer took the following pictures which show the wonderful attention to detail in the restoration. Click on each of the following to look at: The Front Office; Pilot's view of cabin; Cabin, looking forward; Back in VA Aviation Museum.
As of March 8, 2006, this airplane went on the auction block at eBay. You can "buy it now" for only $5 million; however, I suspect the hold-back price may be somewhat less than that. Take your best shot! To see it go to eBay then look for and click on "aircraft".
As of May 27, 2008 the airplane was at the Dinwiddie Airport near Petersburg, VA. It may only be viewed by appointment. Present plan is for it to be auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event, January 2009 in Scottsdale, AZ. I give here the auctioneer information in case you want to get a jump on the herd: Scott G. Oglesby, AARE United Country - Oglesby & Company Auctioneers. 215 East Main Street, Bartow, FL 33830. 863-533-7900 Office. 863-533-7911 Fax. 863-581-9306 Cell.
This is an absolutely beautiful restoration, shown in great detail at: http://www.ipass.net/ginkgo/N9612home.html Give yourself a treat and look at this site even if all you can do is to look at the pictures and salivate. Be sure and click on the (More photos) link.
Barrett-Jackson Auction Company will be auctioning off this Ford January 11-18, 2009 in Scottsdale, AZ, along with their usual assortment of rare and sought-after classic cars. The airplane left its temporary home in Petersburg, VA, and was flown to Goldsboro, NC, where it was received by owner Dolph Overton III, a Korean war ace. Dolph's son, D.O. IV was backup to airshow pilot Jimmy Leeward on the flight.
Info received from Greg Herrick is that this airplane went at auction for $1,210,000 ($1.1 + 10% buyers premium). Buyer was Mr. Ron Pratte who, while not a pilot, is a collector of rare cars and airplanes. Airplanes include a Spartan Executive, P-51 Mustang, Bearcat, and now a Ford Tri-Motor. Mr. Pratte lives in Chandler, Arizona, and has most of his collection at Chandler Stellar Air Park (P19).
A video of the Ford action can be seen at this Web link: Auction
On 11 April 2008 Dean Bird provides the summer tour for the airplane as it travels among about 6 mid-western states. Right-hand pilot's seat goes for $100, passenger seat for $50. Inflation is here since as recently as 1991 these seats cost $30/$20 respectively.
Dean Bird reports, as of 20 April 2008, that this airplane will appear in the movie "Public Enemies" featuring Johnny Depp as Dilinger. The flight scenes will be shot in Wisconsin with the airplane repainted with American Airways colors. The Chicago skyline will be added by computer. The movie is set for release in July of 2009.
As of 6 April 2011 Dean provided the following info: NC8407 will be on tour May through July in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. Check out Fly the Ford for details. He states that N414H is still giving rides and type certification. (See #18 below).
As of 12 Aug. 2011 Dean Bird furnished this schedule: Rockford, Il- 25-28 Aug., Burlington, Iowa 29 Aug., Iowa City Iowa 1-5 Sept., Lee's Sumitt Mo. 7-11 Sept.
Don't miss one of these chances for flying in a Ford this summer.
With the addition of this airplane we are now tracking 18 Fords, roughly split among museums, rebuilding, or flying.
June 20, 2008. Here is the URL for the website covering the restoration: http://www.tingoose.org/trimotorproject.html Gives background of the airplane. Lots of photos and a record of the rebuild.
The January 2011 issue of "Sport Aviation" has a great article (p.78) about this A/C telling in detail how the project is progressing. There are requests for many parts and tools being sought as well as an opportunity for you to help financially. Great pictures.
As of April 6, 2011, Dave Hirt reports that the port skin is inatalled and that they are about done building spars. Dave also sent the following: "A milestone was reached in Port Clinton today. The 5AT-40 we have been working on has had a birthday. It first flew on April 9, 1929 and that makes her 82 years old. The photos are of the original skin for around the door. It says "Companie Cubana Aviacion" Hence it was always known as the Cuban when it flew here (1946-1952) Sorry for the poor quality of the photo as it was painted in royal blue and then painted silver over it. Silver starting to come off now."
This message and the photo below were received from Earle Aker on June 14, 2011. Great progress on this restoration. (See other photos above). Thanks, Earle.
This great in-flight photo received 1/9/05.
9/13/05.Another great Robert Burns photo.
I recently learned, courtesy of Bill Larkins, of this great site promoting Grand Canyon Airlines and giving space to this Ford Tri-Motor. To go there click here.
John Dillon sends word that N414H will leave Grand Canyon Valle Airport (40G)on July 26, 2008, enroute to Oshkosh, stopping on the way at Salina KS. Hopefully they will be resistered with FindMeSpotGPS (www.findmespot.com/eaa) (Note: This is a great new site brought to our attention by Dean Bird, which allows us to follow progress hour-by-hour). At Oshkosh info will be available regarding working on your type rating.
These aircraft believed flyable
N9612 was painted up as the "City of Los Angeles" by TWA (Now 12/10/05 bears the name "City of Richmond")and flown extensively in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their first transcontinental flight (celebration in July of 1949)
Notes: S/Ns were repeated from 1 when 5AT went into production; however, 4ATs and 5ATs were co-mingled on the production line, meaning that some 5ATs were older than some 4ATs.
There are two Bushmasters in existence. This aircraft was a Stout-redesigned Ford 5ATD. First one (N7501V) owned by Jerry Brown, Louisville, KS flew approx mid 1965. That A/C was at Owl's Head Trans. Museum in Maine. For some unknown reason they painted Ford on the tail but it is not a Ford. It was later in Olathe, Kan., at the New Century Airport and piloted by Chris Grotewohl. As of April 23, 2001 it was based at Pasa Roblas Airport in California. There are lots of photos of it (plus lots of photos of turbine DC-3s)at Chris's site. Chris has a great secondary activity playing and recording Celtic music. He also gives tail-dragger instruction in the Kansas City area in the PA-18 Super Cub and in the 7AC Champion. On 3/26/03 Chris told us that this airplane has been sold to Greg Herrick and will be flown to Minnesota in the next several weeks.
That site will also try to keep you updated on the condition of the two men in the plane. Most severely injured, Tony Albanese, has his own website which details his progress. After over a year he remains a paraplegic and has been in and out of hospitals as he works on his recovery. To go directly to Tony's site please see Friends of Tony . Findings on the crash have not been released as of Jan. 4, 2006.
The second one, Buffy, (N750RW), owned by R.R. Fuchs, Cahokia, Ill, was FAA-certified in 1984. Per word received from Bud Fuchs (16 June 99) and Bill Larkins (12 Dec.1999) it is presently in Southern California and conducting tours around Catalina, the Island of Romance. Don't miss this big opportunity if you get out that way! A further note on Buff is that she has rebuilt engines from Tulsa Air Craft Engines, new instruments, a new interior, and is painted in the traditional Catalina Gold-and-Black (Yea, Purdue for that!)
There is a good website with nice pictures and complete details on their operation.
6 Dec. 2003. Wanna own a Tri-Motor? Buffy is for sale on eBay. Click here. If you can get past the fact that it is being offered as a bonafide FORD Tri-Motor there are lots of good pictures. So far bids are at $500,000 but you can buy it now for a cool $1,650,000. The hold-back price is not made available. This info reached us courtesy of Bob Westinicky.
Word in (13 Dec. 2003) is that the airplane sold at the "Buy Now" price of $1,650,000. I am not aware of who the buyer is; however, his eBay buyer name was rickyheinzen. Soon as I find out the name it will be published here.
7 Jan. 04. Well, I thought I had it right! Turns out that the report that it had sold on eBay was a bit premature as someone had hit the "buy now" button inadvertently with no intention of buying N750RW. So you can still buy Buffy. As to how long it will stay on eBay I do not know. This info comes from Bob Rogers whom Bud Fuchs calls the airplane's Godfather. Bob also reports that Bud, present owner, has bought a BOAT and is planning a move to Florida and the Caribbean. Bob says that since Bud is particular about his airplanes this one should be in good shape. So if you hanker to ride behind 3 fans this one is for you!
Sept. 17, 2007. This great news received from Bob Hayden of California and I quote "Have purchased 750RW, third fuselage and manufacturing data rebuild to be preformed at our facility in Orange Ca.
Will keep you informed. Bob Hayden (Hayden Aircraft Corp.)"
Bob's Website is: www.indmetfin.com
Looks like we may double the number of Bushmasters in existence!
A New Site Featuring Stories and Pictures from Bushmaster Pilots. (click here)
NC11170, a 1931 Stinson Tri-Motor once owned by Charles Andreas, Neenah, WI, has a standard airworthiness cert. It now belongs to Kermit Weeks of "Fantasy of Flight". in Florida.
Mr. Herrick also owns another high-wing Stinson Tri-Motor and the only low-wing Tri-Motor Stinson remaining, a Model "A". (see his collection at 1 above, click on "here")
b>N-15165 This word received 10 Nov. 04 from Greg Herrick: "FYI, We flew the Stinson A, the only surviving low wing Stinson Tri-motor for the first time yesterday after a major multi-year
restoration (it last flew in 1998).
The test flight was conducted by John Mohr with Jim Obowa as co-pilot. Dan White, Craig Schiller and myself flew in the chase
The flight went well. John said it was very stable, and in perfect rig. He did a stall, which occurred at about 60 mph and reported it
was very docile and basically broke straight ahead. Without pushing it the ship was cruising along at 140 mph. It was just beautiful
to see it flying again.
This aircraft was built in 1936. It was one of 16 which was initially sold to American Airlines (3 went to Delta Airlines). Approximately
35 were built in total.
This ship has had an exciting history, not the least of which was itís rescue from a raging forest fire in Alaska. This interesting story
is told by Doug Lutz, one of the fire crew sent to save the plane. The story may be found here:
We will be sharing more about this exciting aircraft in the coming months. Best, Greg"
For a nice photo of this airplane click here..
I seldom list airplane websites (too many lists now) but this one you will really enjoy.
Try this new one from Bill Larkins (The Ford Tri-Motor). The Ford pictures are part of a larger site that shows some 1000 pictures of many different airplanes. If you select to see them as a slide show you can just start it going and then sit back to relax and see LOTS of different pictures. You can pause at each picture or set the timing for the slide show.
All The Airplanes in the World! This very interesting site lists, and shows photographs of, any airplane you can think of and hundreds more that you never heard of. A good way to spend an entertaining evening trying to think of one that is not pictured.
This takes you to the Virginia Aviation Museum where I was active for many years. They have one of the greatest displays of "Golden Age" vintage airplanes that you will ever see.
I thought long and hard before including this item on a page devoted to flying; I am 83, the same age as N7584, so I decided to do so. I suspect that many of the Ford page readers are also a bit "elderly" as we like to say and could benefit from this information as I have personally. The subject is Incontinence ! Hey, come back here! (Don't read this if it does not pertain.)
Also, this is not a commercial although I hope it has that effect. As the result of surgery I go through episodes of being incontinent and, if you do also, you know what I'm talking about. If you're not, read no further.
In Richmond, my home town, the newspaper featured a product invented here and being sold in the area. The review was so good that I looked into it and soon bought the necessary components. It is now available worldwide by mail order and is in many stores here. Most components are Medicare elligible. If you want to learn all about it check their website. It has been of great help to me.
I won't go into any details but if you want to talk after reading about it send me an email and I will send you my phone number. Don't be bashful. As you can see I am not.
Sources for this information include:
No, I don't spend all my time on the computer. Sometimes this old guy just has to go up, up, and away. Take a look at what I did on my 80th.
Created 22 July 1997, Updated 12 August 2011.